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Compatibility and Installation

This cooling system is compatible with all contemporary platforms, but the most important requirement is to have enough space in your system case to accommodate a 275 mm long radiator. In other words, your case has to have two combined spots for 120 mm fans. Corsair proposes two possible installations for their system: on top of the system case or on the back panel. In our case (Antec Twelve Hundred) the latter option suited best. But first you have to prepare your mainboard.

For an AMD platform all you need to do is to replace the retention on the water block itself:

And then you can fasten it to the default backplate on your mainboard with the included screws. However, on an Intel platform you have to use the special universal backplate:


This is where we discovered a problem with our LGA1366 platform. There are two types of mounts to be inserted into the backplate that are bundled with the cooling system:


As you can see, they are not only of different length, but also have different size threading on one of the ends. According to the manual, the short mounts should be used for LGA1366 platforms, but their threading is larger and they simply do not go into the mounting holes of the backplate. There are no replacement screw-nuts among the bundled accessories and no optional installation descriptions. Therefore, we had to use the long mounts with additional washers put underneath the screw-nuts in order to maintain proper pressure of the hold. As a result, we managed to securely fasten the water block on the CPU:

As we have already mentioned above, the radiator was attached to the back of the system case:

The fans were installed so that it could completely remove all hot air from the system case:

Our preliminary tests showed that with the fans installed this way the efficiency of the CPU cooling worsens by about 3 degrees on the hottest core under peak load as opposed to the installation option when the fans take cool air from outside the system and direct it into the case through Corsair H100 radiator. However, this particular installation may have a negative effect on the temperature of other system components, because the air coming from the radiator is pretty hot already (especially at low fan rotation speed). In case of the installation we chose, all hot air will be ousted from the system case. Moreover, why not add another couple of fans onto the radiator after all? :)

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